SA signs nuclear co-operation agreement with France
The initiative "initiates the preparatory phase for the possible deployment of French nuclear technology". The government has committed to installing 9.6GW of nuclear power over the next 20 years despite not knowing the cost and against advice from its own energy planners who urged last year that the decision be delayed or abandoned if it proved to be too expensive.
Nuclear vendor countries are now lining up to sign agreements in preparation for the procurement process.
A similar agreement that was signed with the Russian Federation three weeks ago triggered a furore when Russian nuclear company Rosatom said that a procurement deal had been concluded.
The statement was echoed exactly by the Department of Energy, which later issued another statement to clarify that no procurement deal had yet been struck.
French multinational Areva, which is majority state-owned, said it "welcomed the intergovernmental agreement", which it said was "an important factor for the future of new nuclear build projects in SA". ■